Look for Town Races in 2012-13
Chances are Town Race veterans of the 1970s and 1980s will tell you that the après-race parties were as memorable as the races themselves. Assuming, of course, that they remember them at all.
So it’s significant that one of the greatest year-to-year improvements in the 21st century version of the Town Race series came in the après-race festivities.
"The parties were a lot better this year," declared Jesse Hunt, executive director of the Park City Ski Team and founder of the new series, which just ended its second season. "We had more raffle items and more sponsors, and we had some more prizes as well."
This season the racers were divided into four categories using the NASTAR ranking system. Awards went to the top three male and female racers in each category. Hunt said the series attracted about 200 skiers overall, or about 120 for any given race. Among those who competed, along with veterans of the old Town Race series, were recent NCAA racers and even former U.S. Ski Team members. Among the familiar names were Heidi Voelker, Kim Stephens, Jenny Lathrop, Abbi Lathrop, John Buchar, Adam Cole, TJ Lanning and Justin Johnson.
"We joked about this being the level below the U.S. Ski Team," Hunt said. "It’s no small accomplishment winning one of these races."
The job of organizing the races went to the staff of the Park City Ski Team with much of the hill preparation handled by the Park City Mountain Resort Race Department. The awards parties following the four Town Races were held at the Pig Pen Saloon (twice) and the Corner Store (twice). Among the other sponsors this year were Wintersteiger, Vitamin Water, Surefoot, Adolph’s Restaurant, the No Name Saloon, the Spur, and Yuki Arashi restaurant.
Hunt said the series isn’t designed to turn a profit but, if there are any proceeds after all the bills are paid, they will go to the Park City Ski Team scholarship fund.
"The goal of bringing it back was to create a spirit of racing in the community," he said. "We look forward to doing it again in another year."
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Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin once landed in Deer Valley Resort for the Merrill Lynch Celebrity Ski Classic races. He spoke to The Park Record during the visit in 2004 about topics like America eventually embarking on a mission much more ambitious than the moon landings – a trip to Mars.